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About Cal Debate

The policy debate team teaches critical thinking skills and persuasive communication techniques to an elite group of students who compete at a national level. Our program trains students to debate diverse issues such as immigration reform, nuclear weapons policy, democracy assistance to the Middle East, and agricultural subsidies.

Cal Debate is one of the most successful intercollegiate debate teams in the country; since 2000, Cal Debate has won the prestigious Copeland award for the number one ranked team in the nation three times, and has had a team in the Octafinals or better of the National Debate Tournament for 11 of those years.

Support Cal Debate

Your donations to Cal Debate will support the following two areas:

Scholarships – Cal’s debate team does not have scholarship funding for incoming students. This has created a big recruitment barrier for attracting talented, low-income, prospective students interested in debate. This barrier is compounded by the costs that out-of-state students, particularly those from Urban Debate Leagues, have to bear in order to attend UC Berkeley. Your support makes the Berkeley campus more accessible to students and justice for whom the cost of tuition would otherwise be prohibitive.

Travel – One of the wondrous things about debate is the hundreds of people you meet all over the country. However, these opportunities require national travel, lodging, etc. These costs can add up rapidly and force the team to make decisions between tournaments, our attendance and how many teams we can send. Your support will help increase our debaters’ opportunities to compete against the best in the nation.

Support Cal Debate


If you are a high school student interested in attending UC Berkeley and debating please contact the team through their CalLink page.  We will provide you with advice on admissions and make sure you get connected and incorporated into the team.